Gloucestershire’s churches are full of amazing architectural and historical details that help bring the past to life. Here are some highlights to look out for.
This Victorian church was rebuilt in 1854-55 by Henry Clutton, with William Burges on behalf of Lord de Mauley. The style is Perpendicular, with French Gothic influences. Chained to the south side roof is a modern dragon spout which lunges ferociously around the corner of a creeper covered wall.
Postcode: GL7 3NB
This large church is decorated inside with superb mediaeval wall paintings. It holds numerous tombs and memorials to members of the Berkeley family and Dr. Edward Jenner is also buried here. In the churchyard is the ‘Jester’s Tomb’, burial place of Dicky Pearce, the last court jester. He was killed in revels at the castle in 1728.
Postcode: GL13 9BN
This Norman church had been allowed to fall into disrepair by the 19th century and was heavily restored in the 1890s. A rare and ancient wood staircase has been used for more than 500 years to reach the belfry. Built in the 15th century, the upper part is made from solid oak logs, while the rail is one continuous piece of elm.
Postcode: GL52 8LJ
The Early English chancel in St Lawrence’s is considered the finest in the county. Gustav Holst was the organist here in the 1890s. In the 1950s the vicar, Canon Harry Cheales, created a liturgical maze in the Rectory garden. Although it was dismantled in 1984, a mosaic copy of the maze can now be found inside the church.
Postcode: GL54 2PN
Bristol’s Roman Catholic Cathedral was finished in 1973 and is particularly notable for its angular design in which all the dimensions and angles are based on an equilateral triangle. Twenty triangles make up the votive candelabrum that hangs in the Lady Chapel, made by Brother Patrick of Prinknash Abbey.
Postcode: BS8 3BX
St George’s looks like a typical mediaeval Cotswold church, but inside, the chancel, sanctuary and nave windows are covered in striking decorative wall paintings. These are the work of Clayton and Bell from around 1871, for the incumbent Rev. William Wiggin, and could be mistaken at a glance for well preserved mediaeval originals.
Postcode: GL54 3NW
This magnificent building was started in 1089 and has seen almost 1000 years of visitors. When the Great East Window was installed in the 1350s it was the largest window in the world and it remains a landmark example of mediaeval glass painting. A famous detail shows what appears to be a golfer taking a shot.
Postcode: GL1 2LX
Built in 1834 in the Classical style, the church served an independent congregation inspired by the preaching of John Cennick. The porch has a domed roof and an offset door, to avoid the wind blowing up the hill. There is an extra leaf in the door to allow room to manoeuvre coffins into the church.
Postcode: BS30 6NL
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